They Really Doubled Down on Secrecy This Year — My WWDC Preview

In just under ten days, Tim Cook and co. will take the stage at the McEnery convention center in San Jose. There they will unveil the next generations of the souls of their machines. I fully expect to see iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12. This is the first WWDC in a long time in which we know practically nothing specific going into it. Every year we are usually able to put together a blueprint of what to expect, but this year we are really left to our imaginations. There have been a few stories, most notably about project marzipan and a supposed focus on refinements with iOS 12. But we don’t really have a clue what features may headline it. All we know is that Apple moved to focus on cleaning up the OS rather than throwing tons of new stuff on top. Apparently we were slated to get a major interface redesign this year, but that was pushed to next year with iOS 13. While this is disappointing, it will be nice to run some more stable betas this summer. There is currently no indication of what will be in macOS 10.14, but the name Sequoia has been floating around. A UIKit like framework is apparently in the pipeline but it’s unclear whether or not it will debut this year. We know absolutely nothing about watchOS 5, but if I had to guess, it will probably have an increased focus on fitness and mindfulness. One thing that I feel pretty strongly about is the possibility for a big release in tvOS 12 in preparation for Apple’s new series coming down the line. The usual apps like Xcode and Swift Playgrounds will probably get new versions too, but again I am not sure what to expect.

As for hardware, we’ve heard some rumblings about new iPad Pros and maybe even an updated MacBook. But nothing feels concrete. I cannot confidently say that we will see any of these things. What I am willing to say, is that I think now is the right time for new iPad Pros. The current iPad Pros with pro motion were unveiled at WWDC last year so it would make sense if Apple is sticking to a 12 month pattern. This is no guarantee as Apple has not maintained the traditional yearly refresh cycle when it comes to iPad Pro. The iPad has momentum for the first time in years and I think it would be stupid not to ride that wave with revamped home button-less iPad Pros. There’s been some chatter recently about a new MacBook and with availability slipping for the current models, that may very well be the case. Although I have no idea what this new MacBook would be. It’s possible that other Macs will get quietly refreshed but don’t expect an iMac Pro reveal this year. I would be shocked if we see a preview of the new Mac Pro, but that would probably be the icing on an otherwise seemingly boring cake.

Overall, this year’s WWDC is completely up in the air. Expectations among the community are relatively low and excitement isn’t very high either. I however, am stoked. It’s been a long time since a keynote without any major leaks. Last year’s presentation was completely spoiled. It’s a nice change of pace. I like not knowing what to expect.